IFFP & BTBA 2013 Short Lists – They’re Here!
April 15, 2013 § 1 Comment
The two translation prize shortlists are out – and it’s exciting to see how many different languages (and countries) are represented. I’ve still only read three of the books on the BTBA list – and of those I’ll keep my money on Dowlatabadi for the win. There is something so visceral about The Colonel. It’s a book that encompasses all the senses – particularly in the opening chapters when the colonel is summoned to bury his daughter. The darkness, the rain, the smell of cigarettes – the density of the prose – they’re all still with me though it’s been months since I put it down. Not every book does that. Certainly not The Hunger Angel or The Planets – both good books by great authors. But they don’t even come close to The Colonel in scope, technique or plot.
The 2013 Best Translated Book Award Fiction
- The Planets by Sergio Chejfec/Heather Cleary, translator (Spanish)
- Prehistoric Times by Eric Chevillard/Alyson Waters, translator (French)
- The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi/Tom Patterdale, translator (Persian)
- Satantango by László Krasznahorkai/George Szirtes, translator (Hungarian)
- Autoportrait by Edouard Levé/Lorin Stein, translator (French)
- A Breath of Life: Pulsations by Clarice Lispector/Johnny Lorenz, translator (Portuguese)
- The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller/Philip Boehm, translator (German)
- Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin/Marian Schwartz, translator (Russian)
- Transit by Abdourahman A. Waberi/David Ball & Nicole Ball, translators (French)
- My Father’s Book by Urs Widmer/Donal McLaughlin, translator (German)
As for the IFFP: neither of the two books I read on the long list – HHhH and Black Bazaar – made it to the short list. I’m not surprised, though I think the judges are undervaluing how hard it is to write like Alain Mabanckou writes and make it look easy. Even in translation. Regardless, as a result I don’t have anything to contribute to this particular short list other than that Ismail Kadare is one of my favorite authors.
The 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
- Bundu by Chris Barnard/Michiel Heyns, translator (Afrikaans)
- The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker/David Colmer, translator (Dutch)
- Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas/Rosalind Harvey & Anne McLean, translators (Spanish)
- The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare/John Hodgson, translators (Albanian)
- Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman/Nick Caistor & Lorenza Garcia, translators (Spanish)
- Trieste by Daša Drndić/Ellen Elias-Bursać, translator (Croatian)